Around 550 apple trees at an orchard in Italy’s South Tyrol region have reportedly been cut in half by vandals, apparently rendering the crop ineligible for its intended markets.
Just days before the fruit was due to be harvested, the damage done to the trees is said to be so severe that the apples themselves will have to be sold for processing instead of supplying the fresh market as originally planned.
The alleged attack took place in Magré, approximately halfway between Bolzano and Trento.
Speaking to local news provider RTTR Alto Adige, grower Günther Pedron said he had lost his entire crop as a result.
“Only a madman could have done this,” said Pedron in a video posted by the channel on its Facebook page. Pedron appeared visibly upset by what had happened.
“The damage will last for years,” his brother Walther added, “because next year there will be no crop.”